As of Thursday, March 13, 2014, I have watched every Doctor Who episode. Which means I now have my own permission to write this blog post.
Once I got into the show, I had a vague idea that I wanted to watch all the classic episodes at some point. But it was an incredibly daunting prospect – 26 seasons! – and I didn’t know where I was going to find all of those episodes. And I knew they were going to be very different; television from the 60s through the 90s is very different from modern television, even though it’s supposedly the same show.
But despite those things, start I did, eventually. The first episode I watched in its entirety was “The Aztecs”, in which the First Doctor made a woman a cup of cocoa and accidentally got engaged. That moment convinced me that, yes, this is the same show, and this is the same man.
However, same man though he might be, each regeneration brings out different aspects of the Doctor’s character. Naturally, this results in favorites. So in this post, I’m going to give you a list of my favorites, in reverse order.
This is going to be a LONG post. If you’re not familiar with the show and want to skip the details, stop here, and just be happy for me that I’m finally officially caught up with my favorite show, I won’t blame you one bit.
If you’re going on, please note that just because a Doctor is on the bottom of the list, that doesn’t mean I don’t like him. I do. A lot. Just not as much as others.
I know many people consider Four to be THE Doctor, but even though I always love him while I’m watching his episodes, he doesn’t stick in my mind like others do. However, I love the way he says funny things in such a calm way, which just makes them funnier. And his scarf is wonderful. I want to make myself one someday, though I’m not sure I’m actually capable of wearing a 12-foot long scarf.
I’ll admit: part of the reason Six isn’t at the bottom of the list is because I don’t want him to be. I want to give him some love, because he doesn’t get much. His brash arrogance turns people off, with good reason. But I loved his absurd outfit since long before I saw any of his episodes. He frequently makes up impressive insults. And he is genuinely distressed when he thinks his companion Peri is dead; anyone who can love Peri that much has to have some good in them somewhere.
The First Doctor has an adorable giggle. He’s not always very kind to his companions, especially at the beginning, but he grows quite fond of them eventually, and he can be very grandfatherly if he makes up his mind to be. His insistence on not changing one line of history is amusing, knowing the future of the show. And, of course, there’s that time he made cocoa and got engaged…
This is the placement on this list I’m least sure of. He has one episode that I haven’t seen much yet, and it’s not even only his episode. But he’s a great balance of grumpiness and humor. And he’s very brave. He was in a nasty situation, and he handled it as well as anyone could have.
Coming as he does out of the most traumatic time of the Doctor’s life (which is saying something), Nine has my sympathy. I want to give him a hug. But he’s still sweet. And adorable as he falls in love with Rose. And so happy when he is able to save the day. “Just this once, everybody lives!” And, to step out of the Doctor’s character for a moment, considering the timing of his era – resurrecting the show, with often less-than-stellar plots – he did an impressive job.
I loved Three from his first episode. He is very fashionable; you can’t argue with opera capes. And he sings! He is very much a gentleman, though he can get somewhat temperamental with the Brigadier. But he is very sweet to his companions. I loved the time he told Jo that meeting her made his exile on earth worthwhile.
It amuses me how Two always seems so flustered, but really has quite a good grasp of what is going on. Then there’s his recorder playing, and his, “When I say run, run. RUN!” Besides, he has Jamie, who is my favorite classical guy companion. The two of them are so funny together.
Five is one of the nicest of the Doctors. He’s also one of the youngest, and it shows, in a good way. As Ten later sums him up, “I’m the Doctor, I can save the universe with a kettle and some string, and look at me, I’m wearing a vegetable!” He dies quite nobly, giving Peri the only antidote to something that had poisoned both of them. And considering Peri, that’s even more noble than it sounds.
Eleven replaced MY Doctor. I’m not fond of most of his overall plots. I don’t like River Song. The poor guy didn’t have a lot to work with in my book, though I could never dislike him. But then, once, I had a sinus infection. I was sick enough that I couldn’t do much of anything, so I re-watched some of his episodes that I had enjoyed, and I managed to separate Eleven from his plots that I dislike. He’s so energetic and sweet and amazing with kids and loveable.
Before I saw any of Seven’s episodes, I didn’t think he looked very Doctor-ish. I don’t know why. But after I started watching his episodes, it didn’t take long for me to fall in love. He’s hilarious! He tips his hat to everybody. He reads a lot. He’s pretty much unflappable. The way he walks with his umbrella and sticks the handle in his pocket when he needs both hands free… I love him.
I’ve seen Eight’s one movie once. That was enough to put him in second place. If you don’t know how impressive that is, let me tell you, that’s impressive. I have a sneaking suspicion that, had he had a more lengthy run, he might have become my favorite. (Of course, he does also have a mini-episode now. You should have seen me the day it came out.) He’s so incredibly sweet. I just want to hug him.
Ah. Ten. My Doctor. My first Doctor. As I’ve said about him before, “He’s brilliant, humorous, brave, and willing to do anything to help others. Not to mention adorable. What’s not to love?” He’s sad often enough to tug at my heartstrings just the right amount to make me love him more. But he has a wonderful smile. And he uses it a lot. He was a wonderful place to start.